Last weekend I was in Monterey, CA, with my wife, and we stumbled into this little store called Rip Squeak Books and Art on Cannery Row. My wife took a glance inside when we got there and I knew we’d had to stop in before we left the area. When we did, we were smitten by Rip Squeak and his friends.
If you don’t know… Rip Squeak and Friends is a collection of books, puzzles, and artwork, created by Leonard Filgate (the artist) and Susan Yost-Filgate (the author). They now also have a talented group of artists and writers helping them out, including Julia Harnett Harvey, Chris Hopkins, Lee Cohen, Anthony Loschiavo, and Jim Kosvanec. (You can learn more at their website here.)
The series focuses on a group of characters in a summer cottage in the country with no human inhabitants most of the year. The stories focus on Rip Squeak and his little sister Jesse, and their adventures and friendships with an abandoned kitten (Abbey) and an actor frog (Euripides).
So far there are four main books in the series:
- Rip Squeak and His Friends
- The Treasure
- The Adventure
- Find the Magic – their latest adventure
We have read the 1st book: Rip Squeak and His Friends. And I have to say that the artwork is amazing, but beyond that, the stories are great. They’re simple enough for kids to follow along, and have good lessons for them to learn along the way.
In addition, for our youngest, we picked up one of their board books – Rip Squeak’s A to Z Book – with a block puzzle with 16 blocks that create six different Rip Squeak images from the book. There’s a lot you can do with A to Z books (we own several) and I have to say this one is very cute.
What sets these books apart from the rest in my mind is the amazing artwork. And you can purchase some of the art from their website as limited editions, posters, sketches, and so on. They’d do justice to any kid’s room (or adult who’s a kid at heart).
I love stumbling upon these unique artists and authors. It’s almost magical when it happens and these books and artwork are definitely magical.
Be sure to check out their website: Ripsqueak.com or check out their store in Monterey if you get a chance. The address for the Monterey store is on their site here. They also have galleries in Carmel by the Sea, San Diego, San Francisco, and Maui.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan already and we’ve only barely begun the series. I can hardly wait to see what further adventures of Rip Squeak and Friends will bring!
Until next time… Read a good book!
p.s. Be sure to check out other of Fitz’s reviews at the Lair of the Green Knight.